Dramatic shifts in how we approach and conceptualize work are always met with an initial tidal wave of skepticism and detractors. This is a good thing, even if those initial detractors may turn out to be wrong.
Thinking critically about the tools we deploy and how we manage our workforce is paramount. And as we move towards the future, it’s important to acknowledge that automation supported by artificial intelligence, and tools such as ChatGPT, will undoubtedly play a significant role in the evolution of service. Once we have unleashed this powerful tool, there is no going back.
However, it is crucial to recognize that user experience is a top priority, and it will continue to shape user engagement and loyalty. Therefore, sacrificing the user experience in the pursuit of cost-cutting measures would be a short-sighted decision.
Can ChatGPT replace level 1 IT support?
The question of whether tools such as ChatGPT are poised to replace one or more of the 5 levels of IT support is one that has been generating many interesting conversations across our business landscape.
Level 1 IT support serves as the first manned line of defense in addressing technical issues that customers encounter. These issues can range from forgotten passwords to software errors, and they can quickly become a bottleneck for support staff. In many cases, these issues can be resolved through simple solutions or by pointing customers to the information they need.
Chatbots and conversational AI platforms can be integrated with existing IT support systems to provide customers with immediate assistance. Many companies are already doing so, such as InvGate Service Desk's AI-powered response suggestions. These can be used to answer common questions, provide guidance on how to solve common problems, and even troubleshoot technical issues.
By leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, chatbots can understand customer inquiries and provide appropriate responses. This not only reduces wait times for customers but also ensures that support staff can focus on more complex issues that require human intervention.
However, there are a few ways in which these tools may fall short when it comes to level 1 of IT support. And these have everything to do with the human element. While ChatGPT could be trained to recognize and respond to common technical issues, it may struggle to understand the unique needs and circumstances of individual users. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among users, who may feel that their issues are not being adequately addressed – that familiar and dreaded “why can’t I speak to a real person?” effect.
Second, there are certain technical issues that may be beyond the scope of what an AI tool is able to handle. Issues related to hardware failures or network outages may require more advanced troubleshooting and repair techniques that are not yet feasible for an AI tool to perform. And while AI tools are designed to learn and adapt over time, they may not always be able to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape of technology. New software updates, security threats, and emerging technologies can all pose challenges that require human expertise and intervention.
Creating augmented agents
The real advantage posed by AI tools when connected to IT Service Management is in the creation of augmented agents who can leverage these technologies to aid their work.
These augmented agents should be able to provide users with the necessary tools and context to succeed in their daily tasks. By offering predictive or automated dialing, matching them with relevant knowledge base articles, or utilizing machine learning capabilities like InvGate Service Desk's Support Assist, we can empower users and provide them with a more proactive and effective service experience.
The key to success lies in creating an environment that fosters a deep understanding of the user's needs, and the state of the service. Only by providing the necessary awareness and context can we create a service that is truly responsive. By doing so, we can ensure that these automated solutions enhance the experience of users rather than detracting from it. Ultimately, the goal is to strike a balance between automation and user experience, where both elements work together to create a service that meets and exceeds the needs of the users.
How about level 0 IT support?
Level 0 help desk support, also known as self-service support, refers to the initial level of support where users can find solutions to their problems by themselves. This includes tools like the knowledge base and the self-service portal. And it’s a great place for AI tools to provide quick and efficient solutions to common problems.
One of the reasons this can be such a boon for companies’ level 0 IT support is the simple matter of availability. Unlike human support staff who have limited hours of operation, AI-powered chatbots can be available 24/7, providing users with instant support whenever they need it. Users won’t have to wait for business hours to get their questions answered, improving their overall experience with the product or service.
This opens up many possibilities. What if we trained an AI tool to learn the different steps that lead to a resolution of a recurring ticket? What if we trained an AI tool to write knowledge base articles based on these steps? This would solve the issue of alienating knowledge base articles that users with varying degrees of technical know-how find hard to follow. We could even imagine a future where a company feeds ChatGPT (or a similar conversational tool) with its entire backlog of internal documentation, enabling it to answer questions about the company’s policies, history, and practices.
AI such as ChatGPT can be an effective tool for level 0 help desk support, providing users with quick and efficient solutions to their problems. With their availability, ability to handle a large volume of requests, and capacity for learning and adaptation, these tools pose a number of exciting possibilities in self-service. All of this without sacrificing the user experience.
A radical shift in user experience
Obviously, chatbots aren’t new. They’ve been used by businesses to provide customer service, automate repetitive tasks, and engage with users. However, historically, chatbots have never been a good user experience. They were often limited in their capabilities, functioning more as a conversational IVR, often leading to confusion and frustration. But ChatGPT represents a break from the traditional chatbot model, setting a new standard for semantic interpretation and analysis.
In the past, chatbots were primarily rule-based, meaning they followed a pre-defined set of rules to provide answers to specific questions. However, this approach limited the chatbot's ability to understand and interpret the context of a conversation. This is what leads to that frustrating stiffness, the very real sensation that you’re not talking to a real human. And it inevitably conducts to a poor user experience.
These new AI tools, however, use NLP and machine learning to provide a more human-like experience. Their ability to understand and process complex language structures and provide accurate and relevant responses to user queries make these conversations feel more natural and seamless.
So should we be afraid to incorporate tools such as ChatGPT into our IT support structure? Absolutely not. The key lies in creating an environment that fosters a deep understanding of the user's needs, and the state of the service. Only by providing the necessary awareness and context can we create a service that is truly responsive to users. By doing so, we can ensure that our automated solutions enhance the experience of users rather than detracting from it.
Ultimately, the goal is to strike a balance between automation and user experience, where both elements work together to create a service that meets and exceeds the needs of the users.